Federal officials to talk about rail
Representatives from the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration will be in Honolulu on Wednesday to discuss the long-awaited environmental impact statement for O'ahu's rail transit system.
The statement was forwarded to the FTA late last year but has yet to be released for final consideration by the governor.
A statement issued yesterday by Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann's office acknowledged that newly adopted federal aviation regulations have made the review "more complex and challenging" but that city officials have been working with both agencies and state airport officials to resolve the issue.
The proposed rail system would include areas near Honolulu International Airport.
"I understand FAA and FTA are sending their technical people to meet with the state and city to inform us of their analysis and to thoroughly discuss the best approach to move forward," Hannemann said. "Rest assured that I will have my A-team of technical transit professionals at this session."
Hannemann characterized the review of the statement as being "in the home stretch," adding that "further delays in the rail transit project are unacceptable."
City officials had hoped the statement would be released by the end of last year, then again last month.
Once the statement is released, it must still be reviewed and accepted by Gov. Linda Lingle, who has said she intends to review the project's financial plan.
Correction: The Federal Transit Administration was misidentified in a previous version of this story.